Toxicodendron diversiloba (Rhus diversiloba). POISON OAK. British Columbia
to Baja California
ANACARDIACEAE (Sumac or cashew family)
plants, spread by birds, are seen in the inner
campus but they are soon removed because many residents are familiar with this
easily recognized menace that is frequently encountered in the nearby state parks.
The leaves are three-lobed, may resemble blackberry leaves (but there are no spines),
and turn red in the fall. Not everyone is affected by touching the leaves, but
the oily secretion can make a nasty, red, painful, and long-lived rash. Petting
your dog after releasing it in a park is a common source of woe. Well established
specimens can be found adjacent to the trails trough the Academic Preserve (The Dish area). Poison oak thrives at Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve.
Illustrations (links open new windows): leaves
Name derivation, genus | species Toxicoden'dron: means "poison tree" | diversely-lobed
name index | Common name index | Family